By considering LC for import of Bhutanese oranges

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Citrus Mandarin exporters and growers in the country can expect a smooth export season this winter.

The Bangladeshi government has considered the request of the government to allow Letter of Credit (LC) in USD for import of oranges from Bhutan.

With Citrus Mandarin, commonly known as orange, at the peak of harvest season,  exporters and farmers were worried they would miss exporting to Bangladesh, the main market,  as importers were not able to provide LCs to Bhutanese exporters.

The problem of LC was due to the Bangladeshi government’s step to control its foreign currency exchange reserves by restricting certain imports. Due to this, Bhutanese exporters were not able to export.

However, exporters can now export and the Bangladeshi importers will be able to issue LCs.

The economic affairs minister, Loknath Sharma told Kuensel that this was considered only after the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering personally wrote to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina.

“Since Bangladesh stopped imports based on their reserves, LC in USD was not provided except in one or two isolated cases,” Lyonpo said.

“Through personal intervention of the Prime Minister, the Bangladesh Prime Minister provided clearance to issue LC for all importers importing oranges from Bhutan as usual.”

Lyonpo Loknath Sharma said the government appreciates the support because it has direct benefit to Bhutanese farmers. This exemption to Bhutan genuinely shows her unconditional support to Bhutanese people and economy, he added.

Meanwhile, without the Bangladesh market, oranges price would dip because the produce would be sold to local and Indian markets. Exporters also said that farmers would have ultimately lost without the market.